Dáil Éireann - Volume 592 - 17 November, 2004

Written Answers. - European Constitution.

  268. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs his views on whether it is fair and in order to produce and make available brochures on the European Constitution when there will be a referendum in this regard; his further views on whether this will create an imbalance in the information given out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29426/04]

  269. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the total cost of producing and circulating the brochure, The European Constitution, Explanatory Guide in both Irish and English. [29427/04]

  Mr. D. Ahern: I propose to take Questions Nos. 268 and 269 together.

It is entirely appropriate for the Government to publish information material on the European [1145] Constitution and to distribute it widely. Equivalent factual material has been produced about every previous major EU treaty. We have a duty to do all we can to promote public awareness of the European Constitution and of its provisions. This is a quite separate question from the public funding of advocacy campaigns during a referendum, which is of course prohibited.

While final details are not yet available, printing, design and translation costs in regard both to the explanatory guide to the European Constitution and the related pamphlet are estimated at €37,000; advertisements in all national daily and Sunday newspapers advising the public of their availability are estimated at €25,000; and postage costs are estimated at €9,000.